Review Summary: "SELL YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL!".
Though the band never really went away, one could argue that veteran Teutonic thrash metal band Destruction have been more consistent since return to form album All Hell breaks loose
than they ever were in their 80s heyday. Sure, there's little difference in sound between Destruction and their peers, but the consistent brutality of the band's music has always been key to making each successive album better than the last. Day of Reckoning
, of course, is a prime example of this, though in reality is really only needed to complete a die-hard fan's budding album collection. Is that really a bad thing? Not at all, and the band's twelfth studio album is all the better for it.
As with albums such as The Antichrist
and Inventor of Evil
, each and every song on Day of Reckoning
practically relies on one hard-to-change formula, and because of that is just as eccentric as anyone would want it to be. Schmier's vocals sound like a brutal force of energy crashing upon walls of hate-filled riffs and an appropriately tight rhythm section, the likes of “The Price” and the title track (one which bears some sort of similarity to “The new Order” by Testament) making for an ear-shattering assault. New drummer Vaaver makes for a surprisingly ideal addition to the band, turning his hand to some of the heaviest and most powerful rhythms the band have played with for quite some time, and the usual highlights of the band's sound in general-blistering solos and onslaught after onslaught of destructive axe attacks-are there in spades. This is essentially the reason why D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N
sounds comparably weak and tiresome as a result.
Besides the obvious musical advantages and/or disadvantages (depending on your musical taste), the overall concept of Day of Reckoning
largely reflects that of the band's previous albums too. Perhaps ever since The Antichrist
or so, Destruction have taken it upon themselves to delve into the world of apocalyptic themes, Satan, and everything that falls under the “Hell” category. Perfect things to write about when you're in a thrash metal band, sure, but even by this point in the band's career, one can consider whether the band are simply trying too hard to come across as a vicious act of hatred, and this unfortunately is where Destruction sound like they're losing focus all too soon. The riffs themselves are evil and twisted enough, and certainly have been ever since the maniacal opening chords of Sentence of Death
made way to the young thrash metal virgin. It's not a particular downside to the album at all, but if you're the sort of person who laughs when a band constantly tries too hard to come across as brutal (Where's Slayer when you need them?), then Destruction are in that case nothing sort of ridiculous.
Despite this, Day of Reckoning
is solid and tight enough to salivate anyone's budding taste for destructive thrash metal of the simplest form. The band are probably enjoying themselves too much now to change their sound, and why should they? No-one's really complaining. Perhaps in another ten years or so Destruction will be berated for their constant references to the more apocalyptic side of the world and it certainly doesn't help when a clearly aged Schmier shouts “SELL YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVILLLL” over the course of three or four songs, but instrumentally this is perfect for an exercise in moshing 'till death.